An Ignacio man is suspected of killing his stepfather by hitting him over the head multiple times with a 5-gallon propane tank.
Richard Silva, 30, was being held Thursday at the La Plata County jail on suspicion of second-degree murder. His bail was set at $50,000.
The incident occurred about noon Tuesday at 130 Orchard Drive, about four miles north of Ignacio and three miles east of Oxford.
Silva is suspected of killing his stepfather, Clayborn Scott, 55, also of Ignacio.
Silva was supposed to be at home caring for his stepfather, who suffered from physical and mental complications resulting from a motorcycle accident, said Dan Patterson, investigator with the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office.
“(Clayborn) was never left alone because of his condition,” Patterson said. “He didn’t move around too well, and his mental capacity was diminished somewhat from the accident.”
Silva’s mother, Rose Scott, was returning home from Durango when she saw her son walking on the side of the road about a quarter mile from the house. She was with her daughter, Sherry Valdez, and her husband, Ted Lucero,
“They were upset with him because he was not supposed to leave Clayborn alone,” Patterson said. “He wouldn’t say anything.”
His hair was wet, as if he had recently taken a shower, Patterson said.
They went to the house and found Clayborn bludgeoned to death on the floor next to his bed, Patterson said.
A 5-gallon propane tank was sitting in the shower with the water running on top of it, he said.
An autopsy done Wednesday in Grand Junction found Scott had multiple skull fractures and died of blunt-force trauma, Patterson said.
Silva said he couldn’t remember anything from the last two days and declined to speak with investigators.
“He’s saying that because he has no explanation for what he did,” Patterson said.
It appeared Silva started to cover up the mess, but he became overwhelmed and walked away, Patterson said.
“He changed his clothes and showered and walked away,” Patterson said. “It was just too much stuff to try to cover up.”
Rose Scott had been married to Clayborn Scott for about six years.
It was unknown what motivated the killing, Patterson said.
“He’s not talking. It’s anybody’s speculation as to why he did it,” Patterson said. “But we have plenty of evidence.”
Silva’s sister told authorities her brother suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from serving in Afghanistan.
The crime occurred on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. Scott was a member of the Southern Ute tribe, but Silva is not, which is why the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the case.